Friday Reads: Every Body Yoga


“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.    Blogs may be about new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read.  Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things.  Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too.  No matter the source, good reads are featured here. 


Today we are adding a unique little yoga book to our collectionEvery Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley.  The author, a certified yoga instructor with an atypical yoga body, writes in her introduction: “I wrote this book for every fat person, every old person, and every exceptionally short person.  I wrote it for every person who has called themselves ugly and every person who can’t accept their beauty.  I wrote it for every person who is self-conscious about their body.  I wrote it for every human being who struggles to find happiness on a daily basis, and for anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed by the mere act of being alive.  I’ve been there.  We all have.”

If you have “been there” too and you are looking for a new path, check out this book and see if you catch Stanley’s enthusiasm.   She includes reminisces about her troubled childhood spent feeling self-conscious about her weight, which was a product of overeating an unhealthy southern diet and worrying about her very sick mother, and she liberally sprinkles her narrative with adult-rated language and street slang.  A spiritual, peaceful book featuring a slender white woman wearing all white and calmly posing on a beach, this is not.  This is a body-positive, you can do this sh*t, type of book for people who have thought yoga is not for them.

If the memoir aspect of the book is not appealing to you, skip those parts and focus on Part 2: “What the Hell is This?” where she introduces the history of yoga, the various types, and what supplies you need to do it; and Part 3: the poses.  Clear photos show Stanley in a variety of asanas (yoga poses) often wearing an infectious smile along with her colorful outfits and they are accompanied by clearly written instructions and tips about how to position your body.  There is even an index, which makes reference librarians cheer.

Here final paragraph is a good sendoff: “At the end of the day, we all struggle with emotional, physical, and spiritual turmoil.  This struggle is our great unifier.  And if we all deal with the same struggles, yoga is the equalizing influence that can calm all of our lives.  Yoga is for everyone, and body shape/size/color is completely irrelevant.  Whatever your shape, shade, whatever baggage you’re carrying around with you, put it down and get on the mat.  Find a place for yoga in your life today.”

You can find this book on the new nonfiction shelf with the call number 613.7046 STA.





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